(photo by Geoff Andruik from www.futuresnowboarding.com)
Future Snowboarding Magazine sat down recently with Whistler shred Dominique Vallee to find out what’s new. From her recent travels, to her season highlights, summer plans and yoga background, FSM got the goods.
Check out the entire interview at Future Snowboarding Magazine.
FSM: So what brings you to Carlsbad?
Dom: Visiting a friend I met in Bali last fall. I was supposed to be here for one week but I decided to change my ticket because I have nothing to do back home. The boarding is not that great I think on Blackcomb. It just snowed a foot but they’re building the gondola [the peak to peak gondola that will run from the top of Whistler to the top of Blackcomb]. So they closed all the park off at Blackcomb.
FSM: Well you just got done with a pretty unique backcountry hut trip for The Drift in Colorado. How was that?
Dom: It was amazing. It was a mission but if I did it again, I’d do it with the same people.
FSM: Have you ever done a hut trip like that where you have to pack everything and hike it in?
Dom: Not for that long. And not in the winter either. It was really cool. It’s way easier in winter with the water situation, to melt the snow. We had Geoff [Andruik, senior photographer for FSM] being the snow donkey, we called him aqua man.
FSM: You girls put him to work?
Dom: No, he was just really particular with the snow that we used to melt and he kept looking at the bottom of the bins to see what kind of sediment was left.
FSM: And this was the water for you to drink right?
Dom: Yeah. We dug these huge buckets and then we filled them up with snow and then melted it and that was our drinking water. We boiled the water after to make sure it was 100 percent clean but at the bottom of these bins there was always these gross sediments. And also when we got there we had no idea the last time these bins were cleaned because they only clean the hut twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. So we were the last group in before the one-month off for spring-cleaning, so the hut wasn’t that clean. The sheets definitely weren’t that clean. So Geoff was aqua man and everyone else picked up other chores.
FSM: We’ll leave the rest of that story for The Drift, but what were some of your other highlights from the winter?
Dom: I did the obvious world cup contests for the [Canadian] national team, went to Korea, Japan, and did the Canadian ones. Did fun stuff like the X Games and the Roxy [Chicken Jam] and did a few photo trips to Vancouver Island. It was so beautiful sledding around there. And a couple other trips here and there.
FSM: What are your plans for the rest of the spring and summer?
Dom: I’m not sure yet. Annie [Boulanger] gets back from Alaska this week. I guess we’ll meet in Whistler and figure out where we’re going to go.
FSM: Do you travel together a lot?
Dom: For surfing. I’m probably going to ride in Whistler for the rest of May and then I’m going to do this Yoga retreat for a couple days north of BC, like in Nelson. And then we’re going to go to Mexico or maybe Costa Rica for a month. Or maybe even Europe. Then come back [to her home in Squamish outside of Whistler] and ride the glacier all summer. And then go to Argentina and Chile with Geoff again in August or September. And then I’m doing my yoga teaching in September.
FSM: What is that?
Dom: I’m going to become a yoga teacher. I’m going to this crazy yoga school in Vancouver and it’s been around for 75 years. It’s super traditional like you dress all in white and it’s all teachers and Yogis from India and all over the world and they’ve been teaching at this college for a long time. It’s six days a week, eight to twelve hours a day.
FSM: How did you decide this was something you wanted to do?
Dom: I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and physically I’ve been getting into yoga the last couple years and I feel better now than I did when I was 16. Last year I went to New Zealand for a month and it was when I was doing lots of yoga and I was living with seven people in a tiny little cabin by the lake in Wanaka.
I started doing yoga twice a day and it was all guys who had never done yoga, like Seb Toots [Sebastian Toutant], the 14-year-old who won the Shakedown two years ago. He’s like the next French Canadian Shawn White. I thought he’d be the last person to like yoga. But we got into it and he loved it. He had knee problems and hip problems and so did a bunch of other guys. But after that one month of riding every day and doing yoga every day twice a day he didn’t have any more growing pains. It’s not like coaching snowboarding or anything. Yoga doesn’t take any of my energy but it’s really rewarding so I’m going to get certified.
FSM: So are you going to teach yoga?
Dom: I don’t know. I think I’m going to do it for myself right now. And maybe for the people I travel with. Like we did it on the hut trip.
FSM: Well enjoy the rest of your time in Southern California and good luck with everything.
Dom: Ok thanks!
Posted by Robyn—May. 12, 2008 on www.futuresnowboardingmagazine.com